WHY DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
Entrepreneurship has always been a guiding factor in my life as I grew up in a home of entrepreneurs. My dad is a lawyer by training, while my mom is an economist, but the two abandoned their academic qualifications for a plunge in the entrepreneurship world.
As a child, I watched my mom create outstanding fashion sketches in her ‘holy grail’ drawing notebook (if that is what it is called), and my dad had series upon series of business meetings in our home with his potential business partners.
I remember he used to say that when a guest came to our home for a business meeting, the partnership was as good as done, but if he entertained them in a public setting, he still wasn’t sure where the business relationship was headed.
To a little child as myself, business meetings at home were to me as when my aunties brought their ‘official’ boyfriends to our home – the promotion from a fling to a main --- (fill in the blank as you please).
My parents were by far different from the parents of my classmates and I knew it was because both breed of parents didn’t do similar things for income. For example, mine were always available and didn’t have to take excuses from their bosses, mine were awake when most parents went to sleep and mine had the best houses and cars... heck, I was called a rich kid in school and I didn’t even know what it meant!
I saw teachers shamelessly prostrate before my parents and my classmates’ parents light up at my parents as though they had seen God. What others saw as a big deal (my money) and prompted to worship me, was in fact normal for me. I guess that’s the differentiating factor in growing up with money as opposed to meeting it on the day – the before is used to it.
(Cue in cocky smile)
My parents inspired me as a kid and all I wanted to do was be like them. I loved the meetings, sketches, negotiations, freedoms and wealth entrepreneurship provided, and when the world screamed: “entrepreneurship is risky!” I yelled: “give me more!” Few things excite me as much as entrepreneurship. Few things please the depth of my soul as it.
Indeed, there is a level of risk associated with entrepreneurship, and I experienced it firsthand. The memory of which has stayed with me and is a huge factor in influencing my plunge into digital entrepreneurship.
One day, on my 16th birthday, I heard my parents argue over money. My parents never argued about money because there was always a lot, but that day, as well as a few days before, there was a huge argument about money and getting my birthday cake. The money wasn’t coming in as much as it used to and the customers were few and far between. My parents’ business had hit a rock and there was one culprit in kind, one they had never given attention to – the internet.
The thing is, my mom and dad loved the internet and used it for their personal entertainment, but they never thought it was necessary for their business to go online. My dad would say: “Serious businesses don’t use the internet, the internet is for games and networking.” Looking back, nothing was farther from the truth.
As time went on and they bluntly refused to go online, their business began to diminish and diminish and diminish until it disappeared. They went broke and there was no turning back.
Many of their friends experienced the same setback, but when they realized that the internet was a wave capable of drowning those who surfed against it, they restructured their businesses and survived the tsunami.
To my mother’s credit, she did realize that businesses could indeed leverage on the digital world, but she tried in vain to convince my dad. I believe deep down, he knew she and others were right, but he couldn’t afford to be wrong.
So he fought the internet wave
And rode against it
And exhausted his energy, time and wealth
This lesson has stayed with me and has influenced me throughout my life.
I choose digital entrepreneurship not only because I didn’t want to suffer the same fate as my parents, but because a digital business will always have an edge over a non-digital one. A digital business is easy and cheaper to start and a digital entrepreneur is not shackled by the chains that bind a non-digital entrepreneur. A digital business is easy to scale and with the right knowledge, anyone can succeed in digital entrepreneurship.
This is my lesson for you today: don’t fight the waves, don’t exhaust your energy. Build your knowledge on digital entrepreneurship and leverage on the opportunity it has brought.
Until next time, I remain yours in the digital entrepreneurship journey,